Chicago Fire: Taylor Kinney Returning for Season 12 After Leave of Absence — But for How Long?

Chicago Fire fans, rejoice! Taylor Kinney‘s leave of absence from the NBC drama is coming to an end.

The longtime cast member, who has played Lieutenant Kelly Severide for 11 years, will return — for at least the start of Season 12, sources tell TVLine. But it is as yet undetermined if Kinney will be back as a series regular.

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NBC had no comment on Kinney’s return/Season 12 status.

In January, Kinney took a leave of absence from #OneChicago’s firefighter drama to deal with a personal matter, resulting in script rewrites to account for why Severide was missing in action. The actor last appeared in the Feb. 22 installment, and his character’s absence was explained in the March 1 episode, when it was revealed that Severide had gone to Alabama for an arson investigation training program.

But Kelly’s wife Stella later learned that he was no longer in Alabama, having been recruited to help with an ATF investigation. After Severide was vague about the job and a timetable for his return to Chicago, Stella decided in the May 24 season finale to take some time off work to go bring her husband back home.

Kinney has starred on Chicago Fire since its debut in 2012, appearing in over 200 episodes, in addition to guest-starring in installments of Chicago MedChicago P.D. and even Chicago Justice.

During Kinney’s leave, former series regular Jesse Spencer reprised his role as Captain Matt Casey in two episodes, including the season ender, to help fill the void left by Severide’s absence.

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During Fire’s prolonged, strikes-impacted hiatus, it was announced that co-showrunner Andrea Newman will hold the post solo for Season 12, following co-showrunner/co-creator Derek Haas’ exit from the series in November 2022. In other #OneChicago news, Tracy Spiridakos, who plays detective Hailey Upton on Chicago P.D., will depart the cop drama after the upcoming 11th season.

#OneChicago fans, how are you feeling about the news? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

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